Arsenal AGM – What would you ask? | Vermaelen fit, but would you play him?

by & filed under Uncategorized.

Good morning Grover’s, the hot news this morning is that Thomas Vermaelen is not injured and is available for the match on Saturday against our blind-ist friends down the road.

It’s always super having a player like that available… If they’re match sharp. I’m not too sure how comfortable I’d feel having a player who should be eased into action, being thrown into the deep end 4 days after his first full 90. He’s never played with Mertesacker or Santos before and I fear this might be a little early for him. Thomas disagrees.

“Personally I don’t believe in that [needing games to regain sharpness].

“If I come back from injury after a long time I don’t believe in coming back and getting rhythm.

“I think it is just in your head and a mental thing – if you are a football player you have to be there straight away.

“That’s why I wanted to play today and I think it’s good.

“It was a good game for us, we fought hard and it was a deserved win for us I think.”

“It was great to be back and to get time on the pitch.

“I felt fresh, I’m okay and am available for Saturday.”

Interesting Vermaelen doesn’t need games to be sharp, Wenger said you need 3 months or something along those lines last year. It’s somewhere in the middle if you ask me. Still, you have to say, a selection headache I’m sure the boss will relish… and the best news? He’s on for his 50 straight games. Number 2, here we come!

Colin Lewin reckons the stats say our injuries aren’t that bad.

‘There is a perception that we suffer a lot of injuries and it takes our players a long time to come back’

‘The evidence is different. We don’t suffer from more injuries, on average, than any other team. Of course it varies year on year. We are very open with our reporting of injuries and the last couple of years have been good with regard to numbers of injuries.’

Well Colin, it depends how you spin the stats. I did a piece a month (injuries) or so ago that conclusively proved that last season United kept their key players for 25% longer than ours. You could say our injury record was good if you weighted the fitness scores across all 920 professionals we have at the club but I’m not sure you’ll get much agreement suggesting we’re no worse off.

However, what has to be said is that last year, we did see a marked improvement on the year before. Is that down to GPS? Maybe…

Fabianski has said he’s willing to stay and fight it out with Chezzer. I think his chances are slim but one thing is for sure, he’s a helluva lot better than Almunia! Though I must note, the Spaniard pulled off some blinding saves against Brighton the other night!

Today is the AGM, it starts at 11, I’ll be twittering away so if you like the channel, may I suggest you get following?

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

Stan is apparently due to mumble some words. It’d be nice to know what direction the club is taking. It would also be nice to know if he’s going to bin the same old tired sustainable business model rhetoric. There’s nothing sustainable about fleecing the fans every season. It’s outrageous when you consider the club spent £3mill on lawyers fees ratifying Stans offer to buy the whole club. Not good use of ticket increase money of you ask me.

I’ll also be interested to see of PHW gets some stick. He’s had another year of boozy PR quotes that don’t sit too well with me or the other cretinous fans who help fund his massive pension pot.

Wenger will probably take to the mic and answer some questions like he normally does. I hope people don’t forget where we are as a club right now. A few wins don’t disguise the total lowering of expectation we’ve faced inside a summer.

Anyway, should be exciting regardless of how sanitised I fear it’ll be… Push comes to shove, I’m sure I’ll drink my weight in tea and I’ll defiantly bag myself a Arsenal bottle of mineral water which i’ll auction off tomorrow.

Right, see you in the comments, throw me some questions and I’ll see if I can get them answered!

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

P.S. Theo to Barcelona! Haha! Funniest rumour since the same paper linked Eboue there last year!


Andrey stakes claim for the hole-ing role | Park Chu-Young announces his credentials | Arsenal Ratings and Review

by & filed under Uncategorized.


Yennaris, Squillaci, Vermaelen (c), Miquel,

Coquelin, Frimpong, Benayoun,

Chamberlain, Arshavin, Park

Thomas Vermaelen started as captain last night and Arshavin started in the hole just behind the striker. The midfield was pretty strong from a defensive point of view, but the back line really did look worry with only Vermaelen in there as proven quality.

Parks first contribution was to fall over, then get up, lay off Chamberlain who played a silly back heel. The opening 10 minutes was that dull, that’s all I had in my notes.

Frimpong started the first good move doing well to feed Oxo in from a wide position, the wideman breezed into the box but took too long on the ball and with it, failed to take his chance.

Chamberlain was taking a bit of a continental approach in midfield, the second time he was caught in possession in the opening half an hour nearly cost us, Pratley dispossessed him, sped away and only a good save from Fabianski kept the long range shot out.

Park was trying to make things happen down the other end, he dropped his shoulder on the edge of the Bolton box, made some space and fired a shot across goal from 22 yards, Bogdan was equal to it with a good save.

Kakuta, the future of world football, tried to catch Fabianski at the near post despite having two better options inside him.

Our possession play, even for a Carling Cup side, was poor. Lots of stray passes flying around the Emirates greenery.

Arshavin teed up Vermaelen from a freekick, the Belgian rifled it at goal, Bogdan saved, possibly breaking 4 bones in his wrist in the process.

Arshavin was at it again, creating space for Park to take a low placed shot, which was tipped round the post well by Bogdan.

Kakuta was running the show down the right, Miquel was giving him far too much space, he really did look Bendtner-esque outwide.

The second half started badly, Muamba dispossessed Frimpong in midfield, slipped in the impressive Pratley who cut it back to Muamba who took no prisoners roofing the ball.

Park strayed offside a few times, but two things appealed, a striker making the runs, a midfielder making the chances. It was like Wright and Bergkamp!

Benny was doing a solid job in midfield, he’s very similar to Hleb in style. He received the ball just past the dugout,  he dummied his man, cut the ball into the path of Andrey, he breezed into the box ad buried a shot past the keeper after being given the freedom of the area to shoot. A great finish.

Our second came not long after, Park ran into an offside position looking to be fed by Andrey, he held off with the pass, Park recalibrated, the pass was fed into him, he took no touches and  slotted the winner into the top right hand corner. Hello Thierry or Bobby!

The game wasn’t dead and buried for us yet, Eagles rifled a speculative shot at Fabianski who manged to fumble it over the bar… Very lucky! He made up for it on 76mins by denying Klasnic who was through on goal. His denial of Cahill from an unchallenged corner was pretty spectacular as well.

The game closed, the home fans got great value for money, we moved into the quarter finals! Hooray!

The victory train moves on… next stop, Chelsea.

Key Player Reviews…

Park Chu-Young – His first start for Arsenal was very impressive. He’s a sizeable Korean at 6ft and he’s quite strong to boot. He hangs off the last defender and looks like a more classic number 9 than we’ve had in the past. He’s intelligent, he’s not afraid to shoot. A massive thumbs up from me. 8.5

Yennares – He looks like Theo’s younger moustached brother, shave that off son, it’s not a good look! He was solid in defence and again, without blowing us away, he had an impressive debut. 7

Chamberlain – A much quieter game from the on fire man of the moment. He had a few telling runs but he was terribly sloppy on the ball at times and could have cost us. The folly of youth… He’ll learn, hopefully fast. 6

Frimpong – the sooner you realise 70% of his game is fire and brimstone the sooner you’ll realise how far he has to go. Far too casual in possession and at times thoughtless in the pass. On the upshot… His pace power and hunger for possession still excites. Passion is half the battle one. If Denilson had half what Frimpong had he wouldn’t be struggling away in Brazil. 6

Arshavin – Get in the hole! Yeah, that’s what Wenger shouted at the Russian pre game and it paid off. We created chances, we scored two goals and we looked dangerous going forward. He’s built for that position he has twice the genius anyone else at our club has trying to play that role. It feels silly not to give him a go. 8.5

Fabianski – Some top draw saves meshed in with a couple of scary fumbles just to remind you of why he’s number 2. 7.5

Vermaelen – Good to have his welcomed presence back in the side. He’ll be a big boost for the rest of the season, slightly humorous that after Wenger declaring hed be good for 50 straight games, he has a calf strain so is out for Sunday. 7

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

Miquel – Played at left back for some reason and he looked very suspect. He was pretty much solely responsible for giving Bolton any chance of winning the game. Kakuta took him to the cleaners on numerous occasions. In the first half he tried to stay tight to him, only to be roasted for pace, in the second, he backed off him, only to be foiled by his dangerous balls into the box. 5

Tags: ,

We finally get to see Park at the Arsenal, but will it be a walk in one tonight?

by & filed under Uncategorized.

So good, he levitates footballs with his mind

Tonight’s the night then, we will finally get to see our Korean wonderkid that we have for 2 years, but will he shine? I hope so.

Wenger had this to say about him…

‘Some people judged our players very quickly in a negative way and slowly they changed their mind through their performances. I prefer it that way round than the other. Some players like Pires and Henry took four, five, six months and they became exceptional players, Park arrived two months ago so that’s normal’

Well I’m not sure what that meant, a bit Cantona’ish if you ask me. I think all we have been asking is why hasn’t he played yet, when he continues to play the donkey that is Chamakh and Park doesn’t get a look in, you have to wonder. So I welcome the chance to see him play against the EPL new whipping boys Bolton tonight.

I think he’ll do well, for Wenger to mention him in the same breath as Henry and Pires is a big shout, such illustrious company, let’s hope the boy does good.

I think we’ll smash them tonight, we’ll have Oxo, Park, Frimpong and Coquelin on show and I hope he plays Miquel and not Squillaci with Vermaelen as that will be an interesting combination and we know Squillaci is a disaster waiting to happen, if I see him and Chamakh trot out I will be disappointed.

I think our reserves are much stronger this year so seeing players like Aneke out there won’t fill me with dread like his Carling Cup teams used to.

I’m going for a tonking tonight as there will be a few out there wanting to show their boss how good they are.

Here’s my wish for tonights team.


Yennaris Miquel Vermaelen Santos

Frimpong Aneke Coquelin

Oxo Park Ryo

I say this team because I would like to see them and I believe they all trained, I suspect though he will have Yossi in there as captain and Squillaci in place of Vermaelen. I hope I’m wrong though, Yennaris was born in Leyton so it will be interesting to see another young English talent on display tonight. I know he’s a midfielder but he also plays at right back so I put him in there in hope.

I put Ryo in there so Park has someone to talk to. I’m kidding, I know he’s Japanese, but I saw him in training and the thought of watching him and Oxo on the flanks is a mouth watering prospect, so I hope he gets the nod.

There are a bunch of stories out there about Robin signing a new contract, don’t get too upset people as Robin will be 30 at the end of this contract and Wenger doesn’t sign 30 year olds on big contracts, forget Keown, Adams, Wright and Bergkamp, they were all useless.

Anyway, if he wants to keep Robin he needs to sign a world class strike partner to play alongside him, if he’s not learned from losing Nasri and Cesc by now, he never will.

So lets all hope for a convincing win tonight and extend the confidence for the game against the racists in West London.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

Have a great day Grovers, and hopefully a top, top night!

Tags: ,